The Kingdom of Hope
It is common to be asked, “What are your priorities?” The typical response is to give a list of things that are take up time and feel important, such as work, school, religion, family, friends, and hobbies. Ordinarily people are going to have equally important priorities. To the Christian, however, God cannot and should not be equal to anything else. Putting anther priority equal to God would be like telling your spouse or family that you have another one. In fact, the Bible even compares idolatry to adultery in Isaiah 57. Does becoming a Christian mean that one cannot work, have a family, or go to school? By no means!
Putting God first simply entails that other priorities come second and merely fall under God. An illustration working for God and putting His priorities first, would be a worker who completes tasks for a boss. The tasks are accomplished to honor the boss and are done according to the boss’ instructions and rules. Never completing assigned tasks would result in getting fired and lead to the worker losing their relationship with the boss. Working for God means that you will love Him above all us, love others before yourself and that you will spread the word of God (John 17, Matthew 22:36-40). To accomplish this work, one will lovingly bring glory to God in all that they do (Colossians 3:17).
Loving God and doing His will also doesn’t mean it is done with blind faith. The hope that comes from God is not like a child “hoping” to get their heart’s wish, but it is a confident expectation that will bring you to salvation. True faith is knowing that God is above all, that He knows you, and that He is with you! The Lord’s Prayer says, “thy kingdom come.” When praying these words, it makes it sound as though we are praying for God’s kingdom to return. Yet, Colossians 1:13-14 tell us that it has already came with Jesus’ sacrifice. Mark 12:32-34 shows that the kingdom is still growing, until the day that it arrives to God in completion (1 Corinthians 15:24).
Gideon is a great example of why we need to make God a priority and have faith. Gideon was the weakest man of the weakest clan and God chose Gideon to be His champion. Then God had Gideon’s army of 300 men win against the Midianite army of 135,000. The Israelite’s thought that the other nations were the issue that needed to be solved, but in fact it was their disobedience and their distrust in God (Judges 6:8-11). Although it is an exorbitant amount of years later, the same problem that existed during Gideon’s time exists today. The problem is not others around you or the world, instead the true problem is an individual’s lack of faith in God. God sacrificed His only son as proof that He has the willingness and ability to save us. Since God sacrificed Jesus for us, what will we in turn sacrifice to make God priority number one?
Inspired by: Judges 6-8; Matthew 13; 1 Corinthians 6:11